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A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years par [MacCulloch, Diarmaid]
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A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years Format Kindle

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Longueur : 1182 pages Word Wise: Activé Langue : Anglais
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Description du produit

Revue de presse

Praise for Christianity

“Immensely ambitious and absorbing.”
—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

“A landmark contribution . . . It is difficult to imagine a more comprehensive and surprisingly accessible volume than MacCulloch’s.”
—Jon Meacham, The New York Times Book Review

“A prodigious, thrilling, masterclass of a history book. MacCulloch is to be congratulated for his accessible handling of so much complex, difficult material.”
—John Cornwell, Financial Times

“A tour de force: it has enormous range, is gracefully and wittily written, and from page one holds the attention. Everyone who reads it will learn things they didn’t know.”
—Eamon Duffy, author of Saints and Sinners

“MacCulloch brings an insider’s wit to tracing the fate of official Christianity in an age of doubt, and to addressing modern surges of zeal, from Mormons to Pentecostals.”
—The Economist

“A triumphantly executed achievement. This book is a landmark in its field, astonishing in its range, compulsively readable, full of insight even for the most jaded professional and of illumination for the interested general reader. It will have few, if any, rivals in the English language.”
—Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

“A well-informed and—bless the man—witty narrative guaranteed to please and at the same time displease every single reader, if hardly in identical measure. . . . The author’s prose style is fluent, well-judged, and wholly free of cant. . . . You will shut this large book with gratitude for a long and stimulating journey.”
—The Washington Times

“A tour de force . . . The great strength of the book is that it covers, in sufficient but not oppressive detail, huge areas of Christian history which are dealt with cursorily in traditional accounts of the subject and are unfamiliar to most English-speaking readers. . . . MacCulloch’s analysis of why Christianity has taken root in Korea but made such a hash in India is perceptive and his account of the nineteenth-century missions in Africa and the Pacific is first-rate and full of insight. . . . The most brilliant point of this remarkable book is its identification of the U.S. as the prime example of the kind of nation the reformers hoped to create.”
—Paul Johnson, The Spectator

Présentation de l'éditeur

Christianity, one of the world's great religions, has had an incalculable impact on human history. This book, now the most comprehensive and up to date single volume work in English, describes not only the main ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organisation and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society.

Diarmaid MacCulloch ranges from Palestine in the first century to India in the third, from Damascus to China in the seventh century and from San Francisco to Korea in the twentieth. He is one of the most widely travelled of Christian historians and conveys a sense of place as arrestingly as he does the power of ideas. He presents the development of Christian history differently from any of his predecessors. He shows how, after a semblance of unity in its earliest centuries, the Christian church divided during the next 1400 years into three increasingly distanced parts, of which the western Church was by no means always the most important: he observes that at the end of the first eight centuries of Christian history, Baghdad might have seemed a more likely capital for worldwide Christianity than Rome. This is the first truly global history of Christianity.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 75057 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 1182 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin (24 septembre 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B002S0KB72
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 2 commentaires client
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I'm delighted by this book, though I do find the author jumps over some topics rather rapidly and without explaining the reasons for his opinions. It helps a lot to have a bible alongside in order to read passages referenced.
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All three books: A History of Christianity by Diarmaid MacCulloch, and two copies of Enid Blyton's Famous Five stories (rather different in character!) arrived well packed and in excellent condition. Thank you!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 4.3 étoiles sur 5 279 commentaires
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great but a couple of caveats 9 février 2014
Par Chad Helms - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
There's no doubt that MacCulloch is a great scholar of Church History and has, rightly, acquired an international reputation in his field. This work is, therefore, what one would expect from such a renowned scholar: a work of much erudition and intellectual reflection. I would normally give it a five star review except for two caveats. The first problem with the book, in my humble opinion, is that it is ostensibly directed at the average layman and intended to introduce the average reading public with the history of the Christian Church. The problem therein lies in one of the beauties of the work: it is so erudite. As a church buddy of mine commented on reading the book, "He mentions things he obviously expects me to know but he hasn't given me any explanation or background." I feel this is a correct assessment of the book. If you dive into it without any previous study of Church history it will be confusing at times. The second issue I have with MacCulloch is a more personal one (although I certainly don't mean this to be an ad hominem attack on a scholar I greatly admire). He has a distressing tendency to present personal opinion (or- shall we say- minority academic opinion) with fact agreed upon by the consensus of scholars. Just a couple examples, MacCulloch opines that Jesus spoke mediocre "market-place" Greek. He says this as a fact that is indisputable. Actually, of course, no one knows what type of Greek Jesus spoke- if any at all. Some scholars believe that Jesus' Greek was fluent; others have maintained that he spoke no Greek at all. But you would never know there was any disagreement on this issue from MacCulloch who- as I say- presents his own opinion as fact. Another example is his interesting and rather long discussion of the meaning of the Greek "epiousios" in the Lord's Prayer. He flatly states that the word relates to future events and connects it with Jesus' proclamation of the imminent end of the world and his parousia. However, there is absolutely no consensus in the academic community that this is what the word "epiousios" (usually translated "daily' as in "daily bread") means. Many scholars believe it means what it is normally translated to mean: i.e., "daily". Other scholars frankly admit that the word is enigmatic and let their readers know that there is no definitive academic position on its meaning. MacCulloch, however, in his typical fashion presents his theory (which may, of course, be the correct one) and doesn't let his reader have the benefit of knowing that this is a debated point among scholars
So, long story short, I think this is overall a great work of Church history that every serious student should probably read. Even if you disagree with MacCulloch, which I often find myself doing, he provokes thought and that is always a good thing. If you decide to read Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years just do yourself a favor and read a shorter, simpler introduction to Christianity first and, then, as you are reading the work always keep in mind that some of his assertions may be more personal opinion than scholarly consensus. With these two caveats in mind, I think any reader will enjoy the book and find it a gold mine of information.
68 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Encyclopedic and insightful 31 mai 2010
Par Jay C. Smith - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
If you are in the market for a comprehensive 1000 page overview of the history of Christianity this is the one. Diarmaid MacCulloch has written a masterful synthesis. He covers all that one might reasonably expect in such a volume -- moving from ancient Greece, Rome, and Israel up to the contemporary culture wars, including the Orthodox East as well as the Latin West. He transitions seamlessly from topic to topic and is almost never merely superficial. He successfully balances the need to relate relevant details with the virtue of concision. His interpretations are often stimulating and characteristically judicious.

The book either can be read profitably straight-through (for those with strong attention spans) or used as a reference source as the occasion arises. It helpfully contains extensive source endnotes, suggestions for further reading, and an index, plus page references for inter-related topics are noted parenthetically throughout the text.

That the development of Christianity might be treated historically at all may seem heretical to some. History seldom consistently comforts belief. MacCulloch points out, for example, that right off the bat "one of the greatest turning points in the Christian story" may have been that the last days, as apparently expected by many early followers of the movement, had not arrived by the end of the first century CE.

He emphasizes that certain major historical outcomes were contingent, not inevitable. For example, the victories of Christian over Islamic forces in 678 at Constantinople and in 732-33 near Poitiers helped shield the West from Islam and "preserved a Europe in which Christianity remained dominant, and as a result the centre of energy and unfettered development shifted west from its old Eastern centres." Later, he believes, the Church's response to Luther was unnecessarily heavy-handed, further dramatically re-shaping the West (not surprisingly, he is especially strong on the Reformation, the subject of his earlier well-received major work).

MacCulloch does not shy away from lofty theology, often a turn-off to some readers of religious histories. Indeed, he seeks to demonstrate how seemingly rarified theological controversies have sometimes stirred the masses. He provides ample discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity, the Chalcedonian controversy, disputes regarding the Eucharist, and the like, but never to the point of tedium.

He traces how theological emphases shifted over time, including the emergence of elements of Christian belief that had little or no Biblical foundation. For instance, he calls the concept of Purgatory, which had taken root by the 1170s, "one of the most successful and long-lasting theological ideas in the Western church. It bred an intricate industry of prayer: a whole range of institutions and endowments," financing priests to devote their time to saving souls.

MacCulloch attends to Christianity's engagements with worldly power and with political and societal issues. He provides plentiful material for readers to construct their own balance sheets of where Christians have stood through history regarding, for example, the roles of women, slavery and race, war and violence, concerns for the poor and the oppressed, religious tolerance, and (more recently) Fascism and Nazism.

MacCulloch points out that "doubt is fundamental to religion. One human sees holiness in someone, something, somewhere: where is the proof to others?" He notes, for instance, that while the nineteenth century is typically seen as a period of skepticism, it was a period "crowded with visionaries both Catholic and Protestant" when Christianity ambitiously spread its global reach.

Christianity has never been uniform. Its ability to mutate is one of its great strengths, particularly its ability to accommodate syncretist variations in non-European cultures. MacCulloch concludes with the observation that, "It would be very surprising if this religion, so youthful, yet so varied in its historical experience, had now revealed all its secrets."
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A sterling presentation of Christianity from a historian's perspective. 22 avril 2017
Par Spike da Peke - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
While this book could be used as an entry level text in college or seminary (I've taught both), it's really aimed at a general audience. While the author presumes little (other than an acceptance that the evidences of history, archeology and logic should have meaning for readers of the Bible and theology), and does not make assumptions concerning the faith of its readers, it does come from a perspective faith seeking understanding, and the embedded presumption that Christianity can and should have meaning in people's lives. With this said, I found it to be a well informed theological and historical exploration of the first 3000 years of Christianity. The opening chapters, being a whirlwind of Biblical criticism and Greek and Latin history move along very briskly. Sometimes bits of detail are missing, but not often.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 It might take 3000 years to read it... 19 novembre 2010
Par Jeremy Myers - Writing at RedeemingGod - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is a great book. It's just quite long. 1000 pages long. But what else could MacCulloch do? He's trying to cover 3000 years of history. And he does an admirable job.

MacCulloch is a great writer. He found a fine balance between concise summaries of church history and fascinating tidbits of information you probably won't find anywhere else (e.g., the connection between Kellogg's cornflakes and the Mormon church). But due to the length of the book, I frequently found myself wanting to put it aside.

Therefore, this book is hard to recommend. You have to make a major commitment to get through it. So if you want a summary of church history, there are others that are more concise, though you won't get as much out of them. If you want historical information on a particular person or period, I recommend simply getting a book which deals specifically with that subject. If, however, you want a detailed summary of worldwide church history (Yes, he writes about the church in Russia, China, Africa, and South America, not just Europe and North America like most church history books), then this is the book for you.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A long but rewarding read; a must for fans of good history seeking to understand Christianity in proper context 2 février 2014
Par Hrishikesh Diwan - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Let me say at the outset that I try to be a rationalist and am an atheist. I came to this book looking to understand Christianity, which like any other religion inspires in me a quiet unease, given its reliance on faith in the supernatural rather than seeking a rational understanding of our world. I have found that although called a religion 'of the Book', Christianity cannot be understood by reading the Bible alone (as I have), because that tells you nothing about its evolution or how it is actually practiced in the world today... or about the concerns and issues that face its adherents.

To say I'm happy I read it is an understatement. It is a slog, being of a size normally reserved for the door-blocks belted out by authors of high fantasy. It took me (a reasonably fast reader) over three months to read properly. I took plenty of breaks for long trawls on Wikipedia, when persons or subjects explored in the book caught my fancy though.

The style of the book is lucid yet academical. While it reads more like a story than a textbook of history, there are copious footnotes that make up nearly half the volume of the Kindle edition I read. There is also a well curated selection of photographs/ plates that add to the reading experience. I mean it as a compliment when I say that while reading it I wasn't sure if the author was himself a believer or not because he's found the right mix of passionate story-telling, dispassionate description, and at a times, tongue in cheek jibing.

As the sub-title suggests, this covers about 3000 years of history from the pre-Christian era to the final chapter that looks at the period from the 1960s to the George W Bush presidency in the US. That is a vast span, which the book nimbly covers.

It starts in the pre-Christian era, and describes the Greek (and Roman) influences alongside the Jewish heritage that went into the melting pot of ideas that was the early Christian Church. Without dwelling too much on the historicity of the life of Jesus, it covers what few facts of his life are known, and moves on swiftly to matters of doctrine and creed and dogma. It lays before you an array of beliefs - sects, prophets, heresies, ideas come and go and Christianity swiftly evolves into several branches - the 'Catholic', the Orthodox, and eventually the smorgasbord of Protestant faiths.

To my delight as a etymology fan, along the way it shows the origin of such words as "Presbyterian" (from the Greek presbytoros or elder) "Episcopal" (from the Greek episkopos or overseer). It also delighted me as a trivia fan by revealing quirky things like the "Jesus Messiah Sutra", authored in the local sutra style by some of the first missionaries in China.

There were a lot of surprises for me as I read through the book, the sutra being just an oddity. The presentation of Rome, Istanbul, and Moscow as the three centers of Christianity one after the other was a surprise, as was the overall history of the Orthodox Churches of the East, and of such other lesser known (to me) churches such as the Bulgarian. Each variant (from the earliest schisms at the Council of Chalcedon to the modern phenomenon that is Mormonism) finds mention and some explication in this book; no mean feat in itself.

My only complaint was that this book did not spend more time discussing the 20th and 21st century. Although it mentions or name-drops every 'hot topic' I had expected to find mentioned - be it the abuse of children by priests, or the Evangelical interest in the Israel/ Palestine issue - I found myself wanting more discussion and elaboration on some of the points. That said, I do understand that in a work that covers 3000 years of history, such a focus might be puzzling, even off-putting to some.

I think this is a must read for anyone interested in history or religion. It is one of those books that informs and changes your world-view. I have more respect for some aspects of Christianity after reading it, but reading the long and blood-soaked history, when so much of the blood was shed on what seem to me inane questions, was depressing. My exhilaration at learning so much was therefore tempered. So what if the author closes on a hopeful note?
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